Although some people might think that vibration plates are more of a gimmick, this really isn't the case.
Originally, vibration plates were advertised as being fantastic for weight loss, which in reality, they can be when used correctly.
Yes, standing on a plate or base that simply vibrates back and forth may seem a little odd, but the simple reality is that it actually comes with many different benefits.
Today, we want to take a closer look at all of the different vibration plate benefits that you can reach from one of these awesome workout machines.
What Is a Vibration Plate?
As you might have gathered from the name of it, this is a special piece of workout equipment that creates a whole lot of vibrations, with these vibrations being designed to stimulate your body from your feet upwards.
They are also sometimes called a power plate, just in case you hear someone use a different name for the machine.
What's pretty cool is that vibration plates can technically be used to train and strengthen virtually any muscle in your body.
Of course, this is a machine that you stand on, which automatically means that it helps train your legs more than anything else, but this doesn't mean that it can't be used for the rest of your body either.
What you get with a vibration plate is a small motor inside of a housing with a plate on top. There is then a grooved and contoured rubber material to be comfortable to stand on.
When you turn on a vibration plate, high-frequency vibrations are sent to the plate that you are standing on, with those vibrations then being transferred to you.
The main point is for the vibration plate to relax and contract all of your muscles, which is said to have many different benefits.
Some of the biggest benefits here include muscle recovery, bone strengthening, better circulation, stronger muscles, and many more, all of which we will discuss directly below.
The Biggest Benefits of Vibration Plates
Now that you know the basics about vibration plates, let's take a closer look at all of the different benefits you stand to gain from these awesome workout machines.
Assisting with Weight Loss
By far one of the biggest benefits that you stand to gain from a vibration plate is increased weight loss, which is one of the primary benefits that they were first advertised as having.
The simple reality here is that vibration exercise has the ability to raise your overall metabolism or metabolic rate, which in turn helps to increase the amount of calories your body burns on a regular basis.
For one, exercising using a vibration plate helps to strengthen all of your muscles, particularly your core muscles and leg muscles.
If you have stronger muscles, it should also cause your body to burn more calories, which when combined with a diet could help you lose a bit of weight.
If you are just getting started on your fitness journey and are overweight and need to burn a few extra calories then you will be able to take advantage of a vibration plates benefits.
There are some pretty strong indications that using a vibration plate can help to increase metabolic rates, particularly in obese people. It may even be the case that vibration plates can help reduce hunger cravings and temptations to overeat.
Reducing Bone Loss
The next benefit that you stand to gain from using a vibration plate as a form of exercise is that it can help increase bone mineral density while simultaneously decreasing bone loss.
With that being said, exactly how a vibration plate helps to achieve these goals is somewhat unclear, although there are some pretty strong hypotheses.
First and foremost, it is believed that the vibration exercise helps to increase osteoblast activity, which essentially helps to control bone growth.
Increased osteoblast activity should increase overall bone density and decrease bone loss over a prolonged period of time.
At the same time, it is also believed that vibration plates help to reduce osteoclast activity, which is responsible for bone resorption.
In other words, it reduces the rate at which bone tissue is broken down.
It is believed that by increasing both oxygen and blood flow to the bones and surrounding tissues, that this enhanced circulation helps to improve overall bone health.
Increasing Muscle Strength
Something that you might be able to appreciate about the vibration plate is that it can help improve your overall muscle strength and muscle mass.
Although it is very unlikely that using a vibration plate will lead to more muscle gain and strengthening than traditional strength and resistance training, vibration plates are still better than nothing on this front.
There are several theories as to exactly how using a vibration plate helps to strengthen leg muscles, with simply having to stand on a machine that vibrates back and forth being one of them.
Simply put, your legs are forced to work against the vibrations to keep yourself upright, and this activates both your trunk and legs, therefore strengthening your muscles.
It is also believed that the use of a vibration plate may be able to help increase overall neuromuscular coordination in your legs and trunk.
This should in turn help to increase overall muscle strength. It is also believed that using a vibration plate to exercise may be able to help boost the synthesis of growth hormone, which is crucial for the growth of new muscles.
Faster Muscle Recovery and Decreased Muscle Soreness
Vibration plates may also be able to help increase the rate of muscle recovery after a workout. The reason for this is that vibration plates help to stimulate blood flow and circulation to the muscles.
The more blood, oxygen, protein, and other nutrients your muscles get, the faster they can recover after exercise. There are some very strong indications that using a vibration plate can help speed up muscle recovery times.
It is also the case that vibration plates can help to decrease delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise.
One of the reasons for this is that vibration plates can help to speed up lymphatic drainage.
This in turn removes waste from your system while also reducing overall muscle inflammation. The result is less soreness after exercise combined with a much faster recovery time.
Improved Flexibility and Balance
Something else to consider here is that vibration plates also appear to be excellent for increasing both balance and flexibility.
One of the reasons for this is that vibration plates, quite simply, force you to balance.
The more the vibration plate moves back and forth, and the faster it vibrates, the quicker your body and your muscles have to adjust to remain balanced and upright. This is particularly true if you try to hold a position that requires you to balance combined with the vibration plate will make it even more difficult.
Just like with muscle strength, your balance is also trained through simple usage. The more you have to balance, the better your balance will become over time.
This is nothing more than simple exercise and muscle memory. For the record, the ability of your body to quickly react to positional changes is known as proprioception.
The faster your body can react to positional changes, the better it can balance, and a vibration plate is considered to be a fantastic tool to increase your body's ability to account for these changes.
You also need to consider the fact that vibration plates strengthen your muscles, and stronger muscles mean that you're better able to balance. The stronger your muscles are, the better they can react to positional changes, and the easier it is to stay upright.
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Also worth noting is that vibration plates may also be able to help increase your overall flexibility and range of motion. All of that vibration can loosen your muscles up and help loosen up stiff joints.
Furthermore, all of the increased blood flow that your muscles and joints get from the vibration plate may also assist in speeding up recovery time, reducing inflammation, and more, all of which can improve flexibility.
Exercises You Can Do on a Vibration Plate
Although simply standing on a vibration plate with it running full blast is a great way to train some of your muscles, there are legitimate exercises that can be done on them.
Some of the best exercises that you can do on a vibration plate include lunges, squats, calf raises, planks, triceps dips, front raises, and more.
Although the vibration plate is generally designed to help strengthen your legs and core, there are also other exercises you can do with them.
Who Should and Shouldn’t Use Vibration Plates?
Vibration plates may not be ideal for everyone, so let’s figure out who should and who shouldn’t use them.
Who Should Use Vibration Plates?
- If you are someone who has limited mobility due to various injuries, old age, arthritis, or anything in between, then this low-impact exercise is a great way to get some movement in without having to strain your joints too much. It may even be able to help increase your overall mobility.
- If you are a senior who has trouble exercising due to various issues, then a vibration plate can certainly be useful. As mentioned above, vibration plates are excellent for improving balance, flexibility, muscle strength, and more, they can help reduce muscle soreness too. These are all benefits that seniors can take advantage of, all while getting some exercise.
- Seeing as vibration plates can help you burn calories, anyone looking to shed some pounds could benefit from one as well.
- If you are an athlete looking for a way to improve your overall athletic performance, a vibration plate can help on many fronts. At the very least, these plates can help reduce muscle soreness while simultaneously speeding up recovery time.
Who Shouldn’t Use Vibration Plates?
- People who have a history of blood clots should avoid these machines, as the vibrations may dislodge them.
- If you have a pacemaker or a similar medical device, it is recommended to avoid vibration plates, as the vibrations may interfere with their functionality.
- Pregnant women should not use vibration plates as the vibrations may be harmful to an unborn child.
Before starting exercises on a vibration plate, please consult with your healthcare provider to ensure it's safe and suitable for your individual needs.
Final Thoughts on Vibration Plates
The fact of the matter is that although vibration plates might seem a bit gimmicky, they have their uses, and the benefits you can reap from them are just as real.